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Is Top Gear about to run out of road?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 24th 2009 3:50PM
Top Gear is one of those shows that feels like it could go on forever. It's been on for a long time, yet still manages to retain a rare youthful exuberance that makes it feel fresh and forever young. It's the Dick Clark of the British television world.

But nothing lasts forever and producer Andy Wilman told The Guardian that Top Gear, like all great shows, is headed towards a finale.

And there is no bigger critic of the show than Wilman. He said they were "too rushed and too knackered to get everything right" and were just wanting to get to the end of the latest season running in the UK. He even described the presents as caricatures of themselves with "Jezza (Jeremy Clarkson) the walking nuclear bomb, Richard (Hammond) the daft Norman Wisdom, and James (May) the bumbling professor."

Does this put you off of the new season coming to the States in January? It sure does for me.

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Running from something your enjoying huh? lmao You have succeeded in making yourself look like an ass.

On the one hand you try so hard to show that you are not taking it seriously and even insist you are enjoying yourself then in the same paragraph you say something that you are enjoying so much must come to an end. If this is so much fun for you why not giggle some more?

The show has maintained a consistent number of viewers and in some regards has become even more popular than past seasons.

A few bums on a forum are not going to dictate what happens to a TV program that is as popular as it has been at any point during its 8 year reign.

It's very simple. Instead of having to bitch and whine about things to make yourself feel important why don't you just stop watching the show since you hate it so much?!

You have a sense of self importance that revolves around "if I dislike something it must mean it sucks for everybody" when in fact it is your own opinion that it sucks and several few million peoples opinon that it doesn't.

If 5 million people tune in week after week, series after series and there is no drop off there is no problem. On the other hand if an episode is bad people won't tune into the one after that and move on.

Nobody sits through what they dislike and if a show isn't losing viewers and increasing its fanbase it is hardly in trouble.

I have made my point and I don't see how you could counter the argument about viewership not falling because I am talking about a fact and all you have is an opinion so I am pretty certain this is the last word on the subject so I want to say Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year to eveybody(yes you too David).

December 26 2009 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tony, tony, tony. It's ok. Breathe... As you've identified yourself as a bit of a slow sort read my comment more slowly it may help with comprehension.

So. Yeah I know everything you just told me, and that is the point right? Top Gear is getting accolades for the past, etc., which is always what happens before a show jumps the shark.

The awards are looking to the past and I am looking at what is being presented, this season the last few weeks.

Read this slowly... there are a LOT of people saying the show is starting to suck, where there were practically none before. Top Gear ignores this at their peril. Not changing something when it sucks causes people to lose interest.

It happens (wait for it...) slowly. You will not see this effect in awards for the past or even reflected much in current metrics. You will see it, however, play out in the next couple of years if things go along the same way. What I've said is pretty easy for smart people to understand. Which is why you don't get it.

Trying to put it in terms you can understand: Scratching your head and nuts saying "Top Gear rules" doesn't make it so fanboy.

So you keep your foot back in the past when you had more hair and recall your last kiss back in 8th grade. The people that don't need to look back for past glories will continue looking forward.

Finally, thanks for giving me a giggle. You didn't disappoint. I won't engage with you on this anymore because if this makes you mad you will get a hell of lot more pissed off at me when I actually try.


December 25 2009 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Re: Tony Montana.

Down boy.

What I've leveled is fair criticism as similar concerns have been invoked by many people on forums and such, hence the response by the producer I quoted.

And I won't need to stop watching it if they continue this trend as the shell of its former self will be canceled in less than 2 years.

December 25 2009 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David's comment

So if you dislike the show it will be cancelled within 2 years? Take your head out of your ass for a moment and chew on this:

1: It was voted the show of the decade by the British public

2: It is the most viewed show collectively in Britain on TV and on iPlayer. It is also the most pirated British TV show.

3: The first episode of season 14 was given one of the highest ratings in Top Gears history on TVrage.

4: The amount of people wanting to watch the show in live allows the Top Gear producers to make some pretty ridiculous demands from the audiences. Safe to say a LOT of people want to see the show.

Your pretty ignorant for thinking this show is on its last legs when its at the height of its popularity.

Like I said if you don't like it just don't watch it. Nobody is forcing you to. You won't be missed either the viewing numbers for the show are astronomical nobody cares about a few guys on some forum.

December 25 2009 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's funny in all the lists of "best shows of the decade" this one isn't on it. Very few things on TV anywhere provide more laughs.

Love it. My wife isn't a car nut but she too loves it.

December 25 2009 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Does this put you off of the new season coming to the States in January? It sure does for me."

Excuse me????

It's a CAR programme, nothing more, nothing less, a bloomin' good one, but still a car programme. Why would you NOT watch it (or watch it with less something) because you know it to be the last??


December 25 2009 at 2:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am a HUGE fan of the show Tony, but I couldn't disagree w/ you more.

The show has been nothing but awful this year, and the producer who said "...but the fact is we're not wedding DJs taking requests..." can get stuffed.

Very gimmicky, staged (electric car great example, though admittedly funny) and definitely caricatures of themselves.

I hope episode 6 rescues the rags of this season some how.

December 24 2009 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David's comment

Henry Ford once said "If I asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse".

I would recommend you stop watching the show if you don't like it their not going to change it for you when plenty of others watch it.

In related news Top Gear just got voted show of the decade by the British public against competition like Lost and Dr Who.

December 25 2009 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of my cannot miss programs. I'll watch to the end.

December 24 2009 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually Wilman said, and I quote:

"It's fair to say this incarnation of "Top Gear" is nearer the end than the beginning, and our job is to land this plane with its dignity still intact".

But....DO NOT take that statement out of context. if you read the REST of the article you will see that Wilman recognizes some of the mistakes that they have been making (as in the presenters playing too much to their "characters") but at the same time assert that they intend to keep trying new things and putting their all into the show. Why not go read the actual Wilman blog entry at http://transmission.blogs.topgear.com/2009/12/20/series-14-where-were-at/ and stop taking things out of context.

I also believe we should stop Gallagher writing "Top Gear" posts. This is the second where he's gotten things wrong.

December 24 2009 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Warning: Rant incoming.

I hope it doesn't come to an end it's a wonderful show.

This season is airing here in the UK and next week will be the 6th and final episode for Season 14.

The series has been excellent this season.

MILD SPOILERS(You can read these descriptions on most websites so their not a big deal but I though it'd be worth mentioning).

In episode 1 they travelled to Romania with a bunch of supercars. It was an episode full of beautiful scenery and lovely cars. It really was one of the greatest episodes of the show that I have ever seen without a shadow of doubt.

Episode 2 they made their own electric car and again I have to lavish praise on this episode as I don't think I've ever laughed so much during an episode of Top Gear.

Episode 3 was a bit of a nerd show where they discussed what they thought was the car company that made the most incredible cars and had some carporn for gearheads in the form of a rally car. It wasn't the best episode though.

Episode 4 they changed to car reviews and drove some SUV's and a renault. Again not the best episode but still entertaining.

Episode 5 they changed the script again as they tried to convince people that cars were art. It was an amusing episode but it was pretty interesting as they made some good points.

Episode 6 is next week and they are travelling to Bolivia for a 75 minute special.

This season has just been an exemplary example of Top Gear.

They've literally gone from episode to episode changing the format. The first episode was scenic, the second funny, the third carporn for gearheads, the fourth car reviews for mere mortals, the fifth a pretty intelligent sketch about the beauty and significance of cars and now the sixth upcoming episode is something different to all the episodes preceding it this season.

Top Gear has really shown the sheer range it has and not only that but the first 2 episodes I must repeat were very very good and I hold them in high regard. Both of them are definitely in my top ten Top Gear episodes of all time.

I doubt this show will come to an end anytime soon it just goes from strength to strength.

December 24 2009 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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